"After the Mayflowers came the violets, and Violet Vale was empurpled with them. Anne walked through it on her way to school with reverent steps and worshiping eyes, as if she trod on holy ground."
I am super, stinking late for this delightful monthly link-up. Well, technically I'm still on time - because it is a monthly link-up and it's still May, right-ho? - but I'm definitely not early.
Well, for those of you lovely creatures out there and yonder who haven't a clue what I'm brabbling on about, I am late for Heidi's Inkling Explorations. 'Tis a delightful thing. Heidi presents a word - this month it's 'violets' - and people such as me and you find the word in a story (book, movie, you name it) and paste it out on your own blog. It's so much fun seeing book/movie snippets all centered around the word 'violets' sprinkled around on different blogs!
Also, it helps a lot that I absolutely adore Violets. I mean, look at my blog background, dear people. Probably my favourite flowers, after Wisteria. I tend to love purple, mauve and violet-shaded flowers - there are loads of 'em and all positively glorious. Violets are the most beautiful, velvety, golden-buttonned little things there ever were and it was a joy to explore in the Inkling world and pick a story snippet with the word 'violets' in it. It wasn't too hard, too, because I'm Lucy Maud Montgomery's biggest fan and - well - in total, she mentioned the word 'violet' two-hundred-and-fifty-seven times in all her books. Yeah, she sure loved them.
Obviously it was therefore hard to pick just one Mongomery-Violet snippet, so I'm afraid I'll do a few. Heidi, I hope you don't mind! (I know you won't, because, HEY, it's an opportunity to bask into the beautiful violet-ness of Montgomery's descriptions and story-spheres.)
First, we have Anne Shirley's Violet Vale.
Anne, starting out alone in the morning, went down Lover's Lane as far as the brook. Here Diana met her, and the two little girls went on up the lane under the leafy arch of maples—"maples are such sociable trees," said Anne; "they're always rustling and whispering to you"—until they came to a rustic bridge. Then they left the lane and walked through Mr. Barry's back field and past Willowmere. Beyond Willowmere came Violet Vale—a little green dimple in the shadow of Mr. Andrew Bell's big woods. "Of course there are no violets there now," Anne told Marilla, "but Diana says there are millions of them in spring. Oh, Marilla, can't you just imagine you see them? It actually takes away my breath. I named it Violet Vale. Diana says she never saw the beat of me for hitting on fancy names for places. It's nice to be clever at something, isn't it? But Diana named the Birch Path. She wanted to, so I let her; but I'm sure I could have found something more poetical than plain Birch Path. Anybody can think of a name like that. But the Birch Path is one of the prettiest places in the world, Marilla."Also in 'Anne of Green Gables', Anne Shirley compares amethysts with the souls of good violets. I know, very Anne-ish indeed.
Marilla wore her amethyst brooch to church that day as usual. Marilla always wore her amethyst brooch to church. She would have thought it rather sacrilegious to leave it off—as bad as forgetting her Bible or her collection dime. That amethyst brooch was Marilla's most treasured possession. A seafaring uncle had given it to her mother who in turn had bequeathed it to Marilla. It was an old-fashioned oval, containing a braid of her mother's hair, surrounded by a border of very fine amethysts. Marilla knew too little about precious stones to realize how fine the amethysts actually were; but she thought them very beautiful and was always pleasantly conscious of their violet shimmer at her throat, above her good brown satin dress, even although she could not see it.
Anne had been smitten with delighted admiration when she first saw that brooch.
"Oh, Marilla, it's a perfectly elegant brooch. I don't know how you can pay attention to the sermon or the prayers when you have it on. I couldn't, I know. I think amethysts are just sweet. They are what I used to think diamonds were like. Long ago, before I had ever seen a diamond, I read about them and I tried to imagine what they would be like. I thought they would be lovely glimmering purple stones. When I saw a real diamond in a lady's ring one day I was so disappointed I cried. Of course, it was very lovely but it wasn't my idea of a diamond. Will you let me hold the brooch for one minute, Marilla? Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?"
And - this one is my favourite - in 'Anne of Avonlea' Anne and Priscilla have the most adorable conversation about violets. And I one-hundred percent agree with Priscilla. If we could see a kiss, it would look exactly like a violet. *Sigh* I can never get enough of these books.
"Oh, I know the expression . . . I've felt it often enough on my own face. But put it out of your mind, there's a dear. It will keep till Monday . . . or if it doesn't so much the better. Oh, girls, girls, see that patch of violets! There's something for memory's picture gallery. When I'm eighty years old . . . if I ever am . . . I shall shut my eyes and see those violets just as I see them now. That's the first good gift our day has given us.""If a kiss could be seen I think it would look like a violet," said Priscilla.Anne glowed.
But Priscilla and Anne are not the only characters in 'Anne of Avonlea' who have pretty things to say about Violets. One of Anne's pupils, Paul, has a beautiful violet-quote. :-) I wish I thought such darling things when I was young.
"Exactly, teacher. Oh, you DO know. And I think the violets are little snips of the sky that fell down when the angels cut out holes for the stars to shine through. And the buttercups are made out of old sunshine; and I think the sweet peas will be butterflies when they go to heaven. Now, teacher, do you see anything so very queer about those thoughts?"And this one makes me grin (from Anne of the Island) because it sums up Anne and Marilla and their relationship in just a few sentences:
"Walked, dearest of Marillas. Haven't I done it a score of times in the Queen's days? The mailman is to bring my trunk tomorrow; I just got homesick all at once, and came a day earlier. And oh! I've had such a lovely walk in the May twilight; I stopped by the barrens and picked these Mayflowers; I came through Violet-Vale; it's just a big bowlful of violets now—the dear, sky-tinted things. Smell them, Marilla—drink them in."
Marilla sniffed obligingly, but she was more interested in Anne than in drinking violets.
Goodness, there are so many beautiful sentences, quotes and paragraphs all centered around the word 'violets' - it was quite hard to narrow them down to *has a look* six. But no, we aren't done yet. Now for the non-Anne-books-quotes. Every bit as glittering and beautiful and unique. Montgomery, as I said, was really excessively fond of Violets. I think she'd have loved this Inklings Exploriations monthy link up! :-D
Here's one in 'Emily's Quest' - Emily is excruciatingly fond of the colour 'purple' (her eyes are violet, to start with) and has been accused of using it in every of her poems.
"That's a view I can live with," said Dean exultingly. "Oh, 'tis a dear place this. The hill is haunted by squirrels, Emily. And there are rabbits about. Don't you love squirrels and rabbits? And there are any number of shy violets hereabouts in spring, too. There is a little mossy hollow behind those young firs that is full of violets in May--violets, Sweeter than lids of Emily's eyes or Emily's breath."
'Magic for Marigold' is not my favourite Montgomery book, but I must - simply MUST - share this delightful little sentence:
Then they crossed a brook, not on the plank bridge but on a dear little bridge of stones, where they could see the pearl-crested eddies around the dripping grasses; and then came a dear bit of wood where balsam boughs made music and all the little violet-shadows were stippled with sunlight, and they walked on a fairy path near the fence, over sheets of lovely moss, almost up to the green corner where the white schoolhouse stood.I just want to DIVE in the Price Edward Island world. NEED TO.
So there you go! These were a few of my favourite Lucy Maud Montgomery 'violet' snippets. I assure you, there were so many more. As I said, she used the word 'violet' 257 times. (Mark that this also includes the colour and the first name of several characters. In 'Magic for Marigold' there's also a doctor with the last name 'Violet.' Yeah, she loved it.)
I also have one more thing to say. Also, a poll.
You probably know I have a Montgomery blog (okay, you probably didn't, but never mind). Well, I find meself never ever using it. To be frank, I rather regret making it. Firstly, if I post my Montgomery posts here I get more comments (this blog has the most followers), secondly, I just don't post much about Montgomery (which is a crying shame) because I feel like I have to do it over there and I don't like writing posts on that blog (for some reason or the other.)
So, I want YOUR opinions. If you're crazy about the Montgomery blog, you can persuade me to keep it alive, but if the majority of you would prefer all my posts Montgomery-and-not-Montgomery over here, you can, well, vote that. I'd like to know what you guys think! Please vote on the poll in the sidebar (at the top), or, if that doesn't work for some stupid reason or the other (technology can be a bother, I know), click here.
(By the way, my blog here wouldn't change much at all if I ended up deleting the Montgomery blog. You'd just see a tad more Anne of Green Gables or Montgomery-reviews posts. It's up to you.)
Have a lovely day, my dear violets! :-)